As we fast….
As we go into our weekend of fasting for Newark, NJ and the ministry of Safe Haven there, I wanted to include some practical helps and ways we can be approaching the Lord on behalf of this city.
First of all, the fast will be lasting for 48 hours (Friday 7pm-Sunday 7pm) and we are calling for people to give up something that will trigger their minds and hearts and bodies to remember to pray. Also, giving up something that takes time, can give way for time spent on one’s knees. I know many people who are giving up solid food for those 48 hours and can have hunger and normal meal times as reminders and time to pray. I don’t believe the little person growing inside of me would necessarily appreciate no food for the next 2 days, so I will be giving up all drinks besides water, and all products with sugar. Others are giving up all media, or Facebook, or meat, or one meal during each day. We want to be having a continual reminder to be interceding (see Breath Prayers below) and we want concentrated time on our knees praying through the different prayer needs .
2 Chronicles 7:14 says,
“If my people, who are called by my name, wil humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
God promises to hear and to forgive and to heal, but our hearts must be humble and we must own up to and repent of the ways we have contributed to the wickedness of the land. Many people IN Newark are doing this fast, but all Believers have ways which we’ve failed to love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength and love our neighbors (the poor, the widowed, the fatherless, the marginalized of our society) as we love ourselves. We need to repent ourselves, as we pray for repentant hearts in Newark.
Let’s start with confession.
Let’s continue with thanksgiving.
God had done mighty things in and through work at Safe Haven and He continues to do it. Let’s praise Him that He has been working in the hearts of kids and teens for the past 7 years in that place. Praise Him that He has brought laborers and brought nearly 500 people through that city on mission trips, people whose lives were changed by their interactions with “the least of these”.
Then, let us get to intercession.
My previous blog post outlines many areas we can be interceding for Newark. I personally am printing it out so that I can have it readily available during the weekend (yes, I know I wrote it but I even forget, too!)
As hunger strikes, or the caffeine withdrawl headache sets in, or the temptation to flip the TV on creeps up, it is good to have little “breath prayers” to be praying. These are short prayers that can be cried out in the midst of still cooking dinner for the family, or pressing through raising small children, or as your mind is continually awakened to what we are doing this weekend.
Pray quick, Scripture-based prayers throughout the days, such as:
Lord, have mercy on Newark (Ps.57:1)
Lord of the harvest, send workers into the harvest field in Newark (Matt. 9:38)
God, meet all their needs (the current laborers, future laborers, and the people of Newark)(Phil. 4:19)
Sanctify them (children, teens, staff, and parents) by the truth, your Word is truth (John 17:17)
Heal their land/city. (2 Chron. 7:14)
Disarm the spiritual powers and authorities (that hold people in bondage) (Col. 2:14)
and we will close with adoration.
Because God is faithful. And He keeps His Word. And we wait in expectation for what He will do.
Just a closing quote from Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU):
“I believe the power of fasting as it relates to prayer is the spiritual atomic bomb that our Lord has given us to destroy the strongholds of evil and usher in a great revival and spiritual harvest around the world.”
**Please feel free to “comment” and share with others things that the Lord impresses upon your heart during this time, or specific Scripture we can all be praying over Newark. You can also find the Penetrating the Darkness on our Knees-Intercede for Newark event on Facebook. If you aren’t already “attending” please do! And again, THANK YOU, for rising to this challenge!